Saturday, January 22, 2005

Best Lex yet

Okay, they keep getting better. I expect at least one case of spontaneous combustion at the February event.

A memory-challenged report about Tuesday night:

Emily Schultz: Schultz began by reading from her own poems, the first of which was a response to a Charles Simic piece. All of her poetry, which I hadn't encountered before, seemed to locate itself in the region of Simic's surrealist-tinged lyricism. She followed with a selection from the anonymously authored Pocket Canon series, which she edits. This was a slightly shocking but, because of its friendly humour, ultimately charming piece about a priest having anal sex with a confessor. She closed with a reading, sans context, of the final page of her forthcoming novel, which tied up all loose ends nicely and brought us all back to the year 1990, one of my favourites and also the year I became a vegetarian. Or maybe it was 1989, which was the year I puked 11 pints of Guinness and a complementary Beam Me Up, Scotty all over the Poacher's sign.

Jordan Scott: Probably the most viscerally engaging reading I've ever heard, especially the latter half. Scott, a practitioner of the poetics of the stutter, seemed to form his words audibly and thereby gave us a glimpse of the space where body and language meet. As a fan of poetry that reveals its material support, I am a fan. He began with a reading from his New Star book, Silt, and then treated us to a sampling of his current work, which delighted in words that are difficult for him to pronounce.

Jason Christie and Frances Kruk: The Calgary tag team, perhaps prompted by the debate arising from derek bealieu's Speakeasy talk on the small press, presented the notion of the gift and in fact took turns handing out gift boxes. They began with a duet meditation and then broke off into solo pieces, with Christie reading some of his characteristically disjunctive, incisive and well-disposed work and Kruk performing some edgy-sensuous spoken word.

Open Michelle participants: Charlie Huisken (read from an author I didn't know but should have: Allan Kaprow?), Neil Hennessy (reenactment of his interview with William S. Burroughs, with Burroughs played by a sock puppet, then a reading of Jesse Huisken's work), Jay MillAr (a stunning new poem of his own followed by a bpNichol bedtime reading), Sandra Alland (a manipulation of a Beckett text and a slang translation thereof), Kyle Buckley (what did he read? his own work? some invented poet? Jesse Huisken? it was good anyway), Aaron Giovannone (a Pier Giorgio Di Cicco poem and then his own).

Highlights: Definitely the heckling, which became at times a veritable symphony of jabs and eggings on by Kyle Buckley (brass), Neil Hennessy (strings), and co-host Bill Kennedy (timpani). Oh yeah, and Branson Missouri vs. A Yankee Discovers Australia.

Check out John Barlow's review and Sharon Harris's photos and videos. Also, Karen Sohne's photos.

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